CORONAVIRUS

Utah Herd Immunity More than 50%; More Vaccinations Needed, Doctors Say

May 21, 2021, 2:02 PM | Updated: 3:02 pm

FILE (Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)...

FILE (Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)

(Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – While cases of COVID-19 in Utah are headed in the right direction, doctors said it’s too early to declare victory.

Health experts at Intermountain Healthcare said cases have fallen below 300 for the first time in a year. They credited that to continued vaccinations even though there are fewer people getting the shots now than when they first became available.

Now that the shot is available to children as young as 12, recent stats showed more than 2.4 million doses have been given. That means 1.4 million Utahns are fully vaccinated and another 1.1 million have received one dose.

“If you look at the percentage of Utahns who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, we’re at about 44% as of (Thursday) and if you add to that the patients who have not yet been vaccinated but have recently had COVID-19 and have had natural immunity, that means our herd immunity numbers are up above 50% — and that’s terrific,” said Dr. Brandon Webb, Intermountain Healthcare infectious diseases physician. “It’s not enough, but it’s terrific and we’re seeing that reflected in the decreasing case counts in the community.”

Doctors said while Utah is making progress, it’s critical for more people to get the shot.

Intermountain Healthcare also announced Friday that is transitioning from mass vaccination sites to individual doctor’s offices, clinics and pharmacies.

“Several national consumer surveys have found that many people who still haven’t been vaccinated would be more inclined to do so if offered the vaccine during a visit with their doctor. Intermountain is adjusting to consumer preferences,” Intermountain said in a statement.

Patients in the Intermountain medical group can call their primary care provider’s office to schedule their shots.

In addition, the Salt Lake County Department of Health announced Friday that it will close the mass vaccination site inside the Maverik Center.

It will close to shots at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 28.

A news release said that fewer than 85 people are getting shots there daily compared to 1,200 per day when vaccinations were at their highest.

Shots will still be available at the Maverik Center’s main parking lot.

You can also click here to sign up for a vaccine and here to see how Utah’s vaccine rollout is progressing.

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Utah Herd Immunity More than 50%; More Vaccinations Needed, Doctors Say